Thu, Nov 25, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

EVA orders A330-200

EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空), the nation's second-largest airline, ordered a new passenger jetliner from Airbus SAS.

EVA will buy an A330-200 aircraft for US$138.6 million, the company said yesterday in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Taiwan's residents made 46 percent more trips in the first eight months of the year, helping EVA recover from last year's travel slump, which stemmed from the SARS outbreak. The airline's third-quarter net income rose 61 percent from a year ago to NT$1.4 billion (US$43.2 million).

"We have the demand" for the new plane, said Eric Lin (林司忠), deputy manager at EVA's public relations division.

The new order brought the total number of A330-200s the company ordered to 11.

EVA currently has a fleet of 50 planes including six A330-200s and will have all the A330-200s it ordered by June 2006.

China Steel to raise prices

China Steel Corp (中鋼) expects to raise prices for domestic customers because of higher demand for industrial products, said a company executive.

"Demand is good for all products," Chen Tse-hao (陳澤浩), China Steel vice president, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

The company is due to announce first-quarter prices today.

"We may increase prices for all our products," he said.

The company, which sells about 10 percent of its output to China, said on Oct. 4 it will increase prices for customers abroad by an average of more than US$20 to US$30 a tonne for the three months ending Jan. 31.

Prices of some China Steel products doubled in the past two years, and the impact from China's measures to cool its economy has been limited, Chen said.

Chinese chipmakers booming

Chinese chipmakers, led by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (中芯國際集成電 路), reported the third straight quarter of solid growth, fueled by fast-growing demand from consumer-electronics gadgets, according to the latest report released by China-based market researcher ICT (中華資通) yesterday.

In the quarter ended Septem-ber, Chinese chipmakers made 4.58 billion yuan (US$553.5 million) worth of chips, nearly doubled of the amount a year ago, the researcher said.

That represented about a 5 percent growth from the second quarter, pointing to a recovery in the sector, ICT said in the report.

Overall, China's semiconductor industry grew by 35 percent to 72.12 billion yuan, compared to 53.57 billion yuan a year earlier.

Bank allows illegal exchange

Bank of China (中國銀行) branches have been allowing customers to change the New Taiwan dollar to the Chinese yuan in major cities, in breach of restrictions imposed by the central banks in both Taiwan and China, a Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday.

The bank started to provide the service in Fujian two years ago to serve Taiwanese businesspeople after Taipei started limited direct shipping links between Kinmen and Matsu and China, the newspaper said.

The amount of NT dollars brought to China by businesspeople may have exceeded NT$50 billion (US$1.54 billion), the paper added, even though Taipei doesn't allow yuan-NT dollar exchanges.

NT dollar gains

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday rose NT$0.1 to close at NT$32.387 against its US counterpart on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

A total of US$862 million changed hands.

The greenback opened at the day's high of NT$32.487 and dipped to a low of NT$32.352 during the session.

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